Edge computing helps colocation provider Internap meet customers’ latency and agility requirements

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

As a colocation provider, Internap has to be able to meet the needs of its customers quickly and consistently. More and more, those customers are looking for data centers that are close to their own end customers, to help address issues such as latency and bandwidth limitations.

To meet the demand, Internap is employing an edge computing strategy where, rather than building one or two large data centers, it builds multiple smaller data centers that are physically located closer to the users who are connecting to them. To date, the company has built 12 data centers in the U.S. and 16 worldwide.

In Internap’s case, the issue is important because many of its customers are in industries that require low levels of latency, such as financial services, gaming, healthcare and e-commerce. Enabling them to stay physically close to where data is created, consumed or processed is critical to providing these customers the performance they demand.

The strategy also helps Internap more quickly meet customer requirements for additional capacity, which are getting more demanding all the time. Some customers draw 15kW per rack and the average power draw in Internap’s Secaucus, N.J. data center is more than 150 watts per square foot. “Based on the circuits in the installation queue, it will only go higher,” Michael Frank, vice president of data center services at Internap, told Data Center Knowledge.

Internap is finding that modular, scalable data center architectures help it meet all of its requirements. For its latest data center expansion in Secaucus, the company added 13,000 square feet and 1.4 megawatts of capacity. Over time, the facility will encompass approximately 55,000 square feet of data center space, as well as high-density power capabilities. The data center also features in-ground high-speed fiber, which keeps latency down. Internap offers its full suite of Internet infrastructure services from this facility, including colocation, hosting, public cloud and bare-metal cloud.

Schneider Electric’s ability to provide modular infrastructure is crucial to both the edge computing strategy Internap is trying to facilitate for its customers and its ability quickly meet customer needs. Modular infrastructure allows the company to grow its own data centers in whichever locations customer needs dictate, and to quickly provide customers with the amount of capacity they need.

“Modular, scalable design is at the core of our data center build outs,” says Frank.

With Schneider Electric behind it, Internap can deliver new infrastructure to customers in weeks, rather than the 6 months for typical data center expansions. What’s more, with Schneider Electric the company gets a standard template for the data center infrastructure it can offer customers that’s repeatable and scalable, yet flexible enough to customize according to customer demands. That means it’s relatively easy to replicate solutions for customers that are supporting similar applications.

“Schneider Electric is a recognized leader in energy management and data center solutions with a lengthy track record for meeting cloud, hosting and colocation needs and design requirements,” Frank says. “We are pleased with the efficiency, reliability, scalability and cost-effectiveness of its solutions.”

Check out this short video to hear about Internap’s data center strategy and how Schneider Electric is helping the company realize it.

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